Getting Tired Of Playing Nice

Yesterday, the Gospel reading was one of the hardest ones for any committed American patriot and Christian to hear.  From Matthew Chapter 5: 38-48 (part of the Sermon on the Mount):

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

As my pastor said, We do this because we are Christian.

In the current state of American affairs, this is one of the hardest messages to hear, to love your enemies.  Love the people subverting the culture.  Love the muslims who are trying to instill Sharia law into our form of government.  Love the people who use government for their own enrichment.  Love the tax cheats.  Love the people who lie to get entitlements at the public trough.  Love the shysters perpetuating the hoax that the earth is being so affected by our activity that for its survival we must give up our way of life.

What makes this so difficult at this time is that the other side doesn’t play nice.  The other side has no problem lying, cheating, calling names, backstabbing, and so forth.  And yet, we Christians turn the other cheek.

Because that is what Christ told us to do.

This is what makes being a Christian such a difficult road.

Our only defense is the truth.  Speak the truth and an enemy may spit in your eye, but nothing wrong occurred.

Yes, we Christian Americans are getting tired of this.  And it will never end.

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Christian Women Face The World

head covering

Out here in flyover country, a disturbing trend is presenting itself – the niqab, or Muslim women’s face covering is appearing more and more.  To see it in a country where women are encouraged to consider themselves the equal of men and valued in our own right is rather jarring whether we agree with the notion or not.

The United States is not a Muslim theocracy where women HAVE to over themselves from head to toe everyday just because the mullahs say so.  Tough for those who think we are no longer Christian, too.

In trying to find out how it is that Islam insists on this practice as there are many women who only wear a headscarf for modesty, a little research was in order.  In the process, an even more jarring factoid about Muslim women’s attire surfaced – outside of the hard-line theocracies, wearing a niqab is a woman’s choice.

These women hide themselves.

Women wearing a niqab in the west choose to present only their eyes to the world.  Why?  Because presenting their visage to the world leaves many of them uncomfortable as they feel immodest and vulnerable when men view their faces.  At least that’s what a good many of the blogs out there written by women who wear a niqab say about the matter.

It is not required, but what does merely offering the option say about a religion?  God, in the case of Islam is called Allah, made women and by the rules of the “religion” they are permitted to go into the world participating in it and hiding at the same time.  As if they exist and don’t exist simultaneously.  And what does that say about Islam’s collective opinion of God’s largesse.  Hide away what God has made?

In Christianity, we believe that we are made in God’s image.  Every time we face another human being, we are looking at God’s creation, whether the person has fallen from grace – or modesty – or not.  We are all individual.  No two are the same, even people who are identical siblings, having split from the same zygote in the womb.  This is a celebration of God’s goodness.

We Christian ladies are encouraged to embrace our femininity within the bounds of modesty.  There are those who flaunt the rules, but at the same time, there are many who leave no doubt that they are female while leaving a little mystery for the eye of the beholder.  We enjoy it – and we enjoy the difference between men and women.  More importantly, the men of Christianity are taught to respect women.  Well, they are supposed to be taught that.  We’ve all run into dirty old men, guys that use females and creepy priests who need to go to confession.  But the basic teachings of Christianity treat women as people to be cherished, not hidden away, and certainly not choosing to hide oneself while in the world.  (Women in cloisters do not participate in the world, so there is no comparison with contemplative nuns.)

Standards of modesty have changed over the centuries, but one thing has not – Christian women face the world – literally.  At various times during history, our hair has been covered as St. Paul instructed and tradition at marriage has women presented to their new husbands with veils removed BEFORE the vows.  But there is no tradition of the face, the self, being hidden from the world, choice or not.  We do not  disappear simply because we feel threatened by the world or because men make us uncomfortable.

From personal experience, I will say that Muslim men are far more obvious about their fascination, admiration or otherwise staring at women.  Yes, it is very uncomfortable.  You can almost see these guys licking their chops.  Christian, Jewish and athiest me are far more polite about it.